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Care home assault nurse struck off

A nurse has been struck off the nursing register for abusing an elderly care home patient following an assault conviction.

Registered nurse Sophia Nkungwana, 63, was working in a care home when she was charged with slapping an elderly dementia patient on the thigh, for which she received a £250 fine and a conviction from Workington Magistrates' Court in July 2007.

A hearing into the incident by the independent Conduct and Competence Committee panel for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard the assault left marks on the patient and that Ms Nkungwana, from Reading, also took hold of the patient's nightwear aggressively.

The panel heard that the patient was extremely vulnerable and dependant and, due to a stroke, had limited communication abilities.

A witness saw Ms Nkungwana slap the patient in March 2007 after the patient refused to take their medicine. Although she had a good work history and the incident was isolated, the panel found her actions to be deliberate and a serious detour from the professional Code, and issued a striking-off order.

"The code states that a registered nurse has a duty of care to patients," said NMC spokeswoman Kristy Hempel. "By hitting a vulnerable patient, Nkungwana breached these principles and caused the patient harm."

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